Action Comics returns after a few months, changing back from the Action Comics Weekly format that I covered in my last blog, Babblings about DC Comics 2, the sequel to my original blog, Babblings about DC Comics. This is the start of the third blog of that name.
There are two intertwined stories in this annual, and a mix of talents involved. Roger Stern, Jerry Ordway, George Perez, Mike Mignola, Curt Swan, John Statema and Brett Breeding all contribute to the climax of Superman’s journey through space, and the post-Crisis introduction of a major villain, and a new element of Kryptonian history.
Hauled in after he is found floating and near-death in space, Superman is brought to Warworld, to compete as a gladiator for the amusement of Mongul, the planet’s ruler.
Mongul’s chief gladiator is Dragga, who longs to be pitted against the Kryptonian. Superman angers Mongul by refusing to kill his opponents.
News of Superman reaches a priest, not from Krypton, but who lived there and lead a religious movement that fell foul of the techophiliac society. The Eradicator was created, and used to massacre his flock, though it preserved his life. Cleric begins to mind-link with Superman, checking to see if he is really from Krypton.
As Cleric views Superman’s life, through which we get a recap of the origin, Superman learns much more about Krypton, and the Eradicator. The resemblance between the weapon and the birthing matrix that carried Superman to Earth puzzles both of them.
Seeing the Eradicator used for the massacre does not help Superman while he is fighting.
With Superman taking down all comers, Mongul eventually has no choice but to let Dragga go against him.
The Cleric tried to lead his faithful followers to another planet, but they all died out in space. Kryptonians cannot live off of Krypton, except for Superman, as he was not actually born on the planet.
Cleric has remained in possession of the Eradicator for all the years since, waiting for someone to pass it on to.
Superman defeats Dragga, and refuses to kill him. Mongul realizes he will have to come down and face Superman himself.
The story continues in the next issue of Superman, and for the next few years, the Superman titles would run with storylines leading from one book to another.